2021 Year in Review

2021 Year in Review

January 3, 2022

Wong’s election makes ALA history At the conclusion of the 2021 Annual Conference Virtual, Patricia “Patty” M. Wong began her term as the first Asian American to serve as ALA president.   The American Rescue Plan Act and libraries When President Biden signed into law the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 on March … Continue reading 2021 Year in Review


Advocacy Update

What Libraries Need to Know about the Digital Equity Act

December 28, 2021

Signed into law by President Joe Biden on November 15, 2021, IIJA includes a historic investment in advancing digital equity and an opportunity for libraries to leverage and expand their roles in that work. The Digital Equity Act (DEA), a provision within IIJA, includes a federal investment of $2.75 billion over five years to promote … Continue reading What Libraries Need to Know about the Digital Equity Act




Referenda Roundup 2021

Referenda Roundup 2021

November 1, 2021

Libraries notched many wins in 2021: In Illinois, the state’s April 6 election saw four of five ballot measures passing. To many library workers’ relief, a threatened reduction in Ohio’s support for public libraries—from 1.7% to 1.66% of the general fund—did not make it into the final version of the state’s budget. In addition, all … Continue reading Referenda Roundup 2021


Conversations Creating Change

November 1, 2021

In September 2020, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Public Programs Office announced it would provide nearly $2 million in grants to small and rural libraries of all types to help them address pressing concerns in their communities. Through this Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Focus on Small and Rural Libraries grant program, more than 600 libraries … Continue reading Conversations Creating Change


United for Libraries 2021 Virtual Conference

Advocacy through Storytelling

August 23, 2021

Sessions underscored that stories—of individuals, of libraries, of communities—are at the core of library advocacy. “It’s really all about storytelling,” observed Beth Nawalinski, executive director of United for Libraries, during the conference. Representation in collections At “Auditing Diversity in Library Collections,” Sarah Voels, community engagement librarian at Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Public Library (CRPL), described the … Continue reading Advocacy through Storytelling


Hands holding small red heart with banner -- text reads The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund

ALA Distributes COVID-19 Emergency Relief

June 25, 2021

Through the ALA COVID Library Relief Fund, grantees representing academic, public, school, and tribal libraries will receive grants between $30,000 and $50,000 to support library services and operations. The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund represents a significant nonfederal grant opportunity for libraries. The funds support libraries’ efforts to increase and enhance technology access, collection development, … Continue reading ALA Distributes COVID-19 Emergency Relief



Emergency Broadband Benefit (text curved in the shape of a Wi-Fi signal)

FCC Opens Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

May 11, 2021

Program and application essentials, including eligibility, are outlined in a new FCC-American Library Association (ALA) fact sheet for libraries. A household is eligible if one of its members meets any of the following criteria: Has an income at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as the Supplemental … Continue reading FCC Opens Emergency Broadband Benefit Program


From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall

A Hurting Thing

May 3, 2021

Usually the calls were about the kids who frequented the library—which ones had graduated, who was off to college or the military, and sometimes, sadly, who had been shot or killed, or gone to jail. One call still haunts me: A teenage boy I knew well was facing serious time in a juvenile detention center. … Continue reading A Hurting Thing


ALA logo

ALA Announces COVID Library Relief Fund

April 9, 2021

These funds are intended to bolster library operations and services, including technology access, collections, digital instruction, staffing, and outreach. Funds can be used to maintain and amplify existing service strategies or add new ones. “Libraries have demonstrated extraordinary innovation over the past year in creating new materials, programs, and service delivery models, but they are … Continue reading ALA Announces COVID Library Relief Fund